Unlike audio speaker producers, earphone producers recognize that the amp made use of by a customer can make or damage a testimonial of their item. So carefully they appear happy when I request for recommendations.
When I was examining Dan Clark’s front runner Stealth planar magnetic earphones in Gramophone Dreams #62, I asked Clark Sound head of state Andy Regan if he would certainly “please” suggest an amp that, according to him, would certainly permit the Stealth to work to its complete capacity. In reaction, he sent me the $1995 GS-X Mini earphone amplifier/preamp from HeadAmp. This prominent and also functional earphone amplifier has actually enabled the Stealth and also every various other earphone I have actually made use of to recreate recordings with grain-free, smooth characteristics that make singing recordings audio extremely all-natural. Since it’s a lot more effective (6W right into 25 ohms, 4W right into 50 ohms, 2W right into 100 ohms) than the amps defined listed below, I have actually made use of the GS-X Mini as a recommendation throughout this record.
When I’m examining modern electrostatic earphones, Woo Sound proprietor Jack Wu provides me his magnificent 300B 3ES parallel electrostatic amplifier/preamp for $8999. For all various other kinds of earphones and also for daily usage, I count on Linear Tube Sound’s remarkable Z10e, a complete tube incorporated amp that, along with powering magnetic earphones, drives electrostatic audio speakers. As Well As my recommendation audio speakers. Since I initially discussed it in Gramophone Dreams #36, the $6,950 Z10e, which is spec would certainly to outcome 3W right into 32 ohms, has actually been the steadfast support of my desktop computer system, driving my speakers. Dynaudio Excite X14 audio speakers while permitting me to seem like an aficionado of traditional earphones as I take pleasure in the brilliant beauties of my precious Stax SR-007 Omega condensers.
Since the Z10e is the earphone amp I utilize one of the most, it was excellent for inspecting my searchings for versus the various other amplifiers offered this month’s earphone tryouts, by Void and also Focal.
Void goes haute couture
Thirty years earlier, Joe Skubinski established what came to be an effective sound cord making business called JPS Labs LLC. 10 years earlier, in his extremely initial effort at developing a headset, he developed what I still take into consideration the modern planar magnetic: the Void AB-1266 (explanation 1). What are the probabilities of striking a crowning achievement in your initial big league batting?
When I initially examined the Void AB-1266 Phi earphones in Gramophone Dreams #17, I discovered them to be one of the most open, quick, and also microscope-transparent transducers I have actually ever before seen. made use of. Their only rival for clearness, information, and also neutral tone were the Stax SR-009 electrostatic and also AKG’s K812 vibrant open backs. To me, the AB-1266 appeared a lot more noticeably “appropriate” than any kind of earphones I had actually come across because my tryout of Sony’s MDR-Z10s from 1989.
Pals that attempted the Voids were pleased with its noise, however all had problems with its kind element.
Besides their slightly Frankenstein appearances, my principal close friends fought with the truth that the AB-1266 is big and also developed to drift easily near the audience’s head rather than embracing versus the head. This unmatched attribute reduced the Void when customers curved over, and also it irritated dimension nerds since, like the horns, omnidirectional audio speakers, and also panel audio speakers, the AB-1266 is tough to determine in such a way that precisely mirrors its truth. worldwide efficiency. Nonetheless, skilled audiences accustomed to the noise of distortion recognized instantly that the Void AB-1266 Phi was just one of the most affordable distortion transducers ever before created.
In 2017, Joe obtained tired of individuals grumbling concerning his headgear’s kind element, so he headed out and also place every one of Anna Wintour on it, producing what could be the “most trendy headgear on the planet”. Understanding that the special physical framework of the AB-1266 did not offer itself to prolonged informal listening, Skubinski chose to make his brand-new earphones lighter, thinner and also a lot more comfy, suitable far better to the individual’s head. This 2nd headset style, which he called after his other half, Diana, makes use of a somewhat smaller sized (63mm vs. 66mm) planar magnetic motorist that was adjusted from the AB-1266 right into a sturdy light weight aluminum headset. and also glamorous. The Void site declares it is the “globe’s thinnest planar headset”. The supply, fourth-generation Void Diana TC I’m examining is $4495 and also can be bought straight from Void in no much less than 30 on-trend, oven-hardened polymer ceramic shades. Dealerships just market grey and also bronze.
What are the probabilities of striking one more crowning achievement in your 2nd at bat?
For this record Joe sent me what he calls the total bundle, which at an added $1500 ($5995 total amount) changes a 1.8m HP superconductor cord with a conventional 1 .5 m, in your selection of discontinuation: 3 or 4 pins. XLR or ¼” plug. (Various other sizes are readily available.) Furthermore, Joe sent out a collection of optional port ear pillows, which JPS provides as a choice to the lambskin or vegan Ultrasuede ear pillows. According to Skubinski, ported pads “include a minor bass bump in the reduced bass variety, including a little bit a lot more deepness and also visibility to the soundstage.”
In my experience, earphone motorist innovation seldom represents greater than 60% of the noise of a premium audiophile earphone. The staying 40% is divided in between cable televisions and also pads. Earphone manufacturers recognize this, so it’s not a surprise that Joe Skubinski began his audio life as a cord manufacturer or that grasping the mystical scientific research of earpad style interest him. Its bass-bump pads are extremely great: the magnetic base of each pad is enlarged by a millimeter or 2, offering room for 4 acoustically designed ports that extend from the edges of the ear mug. It was very easy to compare the punchier, a lot more straight supply pads and also the ported ones, which, as Joe recommended, play a little bit warmer and also roomier. It was difficult to pick a favorite.
The Diana TC considers 390g (the AB-1266 considers 640g) and also has an insusceptibility of 69 ohms (the AB-1266’s insusceptibility is 47 ohms) and also a level of sensitivity of 90dB/mW (contrasted to 88dB for 1266).
Eleven Sound Broadway
Like Andy Regan and also Jack Wu prior to him, Joe Skubinski sent me his advised earphone amp, the $2599 Broadway from XIaudio (also known as “Eleven Sound” explanation 2). The Broadway is little (8.3″ × 6.1″ × 1.9″), light-weight (2.5 pounds), and also completely unglamorous in look. It’s spec would certainly to outcome 1.5W right into 32 ohms in the class A totally differentially well balanced A. Its solitary input is well balanced (XLR) and also its 2 results are both well balanced: 4-pin XLR and also 4.4 mm Pentaconn. Its leading plate is conveniently eliminated, subjecting a swarm of permits inhabited by numerous surface area place components the dimension of an ant’s head.
Besides the quantity control and also a 3 W power resistor, the only full-size components were the 4 user-replaceable 3000 mAh, 3.7 V Li-ion batteries. According to the Void site, “This amp will certainly compete approximately 6 hrs without a/c power, or connected in for constant playback, with the exact same very improved noise on either source of power. The wiring is developed to drift batteries on the keys whatsoever times.” I asked Joe what that suggested. He informed me that Michael Xiao, the Broadway developer, developed this completely differential BJT amp to run totally on user-replaceable batteries, also when the amp is attached to the battery charger, which Michael s Terrific discomforts were required to make sure that the fee was not distinct. Xiao stated the cells were picked for the very best noise.
I examined Joe and also Michael’s insurance claim by paying attention without the battery charger for concerning 4 hrs. I really did not observe any kind of audio deterioration when the batteries went out. After that I attached it to his wall surface protuberance and also once again saw no modification in audio high quality. I likewise attempted to see for how long it would certainly play without connecting it in. He passed away after virtually 6 hrs.
The Broadway has an input level of sensitivity of 1.0 V and also, according to Joe’s dimensions, a healthy and balanced gain of 18 dB right into 50 ohms.
Void Diana TC
Broadway’s defined 1.5W right into 32 ohms felt like a little a four-cylinder for the heavyweight JPS Labs AB-1266, which flourishes on turbocharged V8s. So, normally, I began these tryouts utilizing the Void AB-1266 Phi TC, to see if the Broadway might round up sufficient heavy steam to reproduce the rainy Yuja Wang that played her in 2018. Berlin Recital (24/96 FLAC, DG/Qobuz). My impressions were of stamina and also vitality and also intense ahead energy, from amp and also entertainer, without recognizable clipping or compression.
The AB-1266 carried out vigorously. Greater than the stamina, nevertheless, what thrilled me most concerning the 1266 with Broadway amplifier is its special, and also just how it allows seems beginning and also quit normally and also take a breath actual air throughout upkeep, with total and also very discreet guarantee. No earphones I recognize of make a much more highly shaded audio framework. At my reduced listening degrees, the 1266 and also the Broadway functioned flawlessly with each other.
I was amazed that when I changed from the Void AB-1266 Phi 50 ohm, 88 dB/mW delicate TCs to the Void Diana 69 ohm, 90 dB/mW delicate TCs, I needed to reduce the quantity on the Broadway ( explanation 3), and also just how with the Diana the audio appeared to loosen up a little bit. When I played “Preludio: Asturias”, the initial item of La Guitarra dels Lleons (16/44.1 FLAC Cantus/Tidal), with Xavier Díaz-Latorre on guitar and also Pedro Estevan on percussion, the immediate and also delirious feeling of energy was haunting and also punchy with the 1266, barely much less so with the Diana. The 1266s were breathier and also even more specific over 2kHz and also livelier and also brighter in the top bass, where the Diana stumbled upon as softer, darker, lusher. The 1266 revealed a lot more invigorated air bordering Díaz-Latorre’s guitar and also revealed even more of its interior quantity. Diana’s TCs maintained me glued to the efficiency.
Explanation 1: Void Headphones, a department of JPS Labs LLC, 16 Lancaster Pkwy., Lancaster, NY 14086. Tel. : (716) 288-9112. Internet: abyss-headphones.com.
Explanation 2: XiAudio, imported by JPS Labs Labs LLC, 16 Lancaster Pkwy., Lancaster, NY 14086. Tel. : (716) 288-9112. Internet: abyss-headphones.com.
Explanation 3: Quantity associates to voltage, not power.